By Bob San
Osseo-Maple Grove Sports
With the Northwest Suburban Conference championship in the bag, the Osseo High volleyball team is seeking to add a Section 5 crown to its trophy case.
The Orioles are seeded first in the section tournament and will host a quarterfinal match Thursday, Oct. 24 against Maple Grove or Rogers. The semifinals are Oct. 30 and the final Nov. 2 at Anoka High.
When the season began, not many people thought Osseo would win the conference and get the No. 1 seed in the section. But the Orioles have enjoyed an amazing season and is the clear No. 1 seed with their 25-1 record.
“I am proud of the team,” said Osseo coach Bill Quan. “To go 10-0 in the conference was a goal that we strived for that no one thought we could accomplish when the season started. To start the season 21-0 and have our first loss on Oct. 12 is impressive.”
The Orioles surprised everyone and defeated pre-season favorites Blaine and Champlin Park for Osseo’s first conference title since 2009. Their only loss was to Chanhassen in the Apple Valley Tournament two weeks ago. The Orioles rebounded to sweep Nevis, Fergus Falls, East Grand Forks and Roseville to capture the Moorhead Tournament last weekend.
Osseo opened up with Nevis (#10A) and East Grand Forks (18-6) in pool play Friday night. Against Nevis the Orioles overpowered the ranked class A team with a balanced attack. Jackie Jones led the way with six kills. Shiah Sanders, Hannah Pekarek, and Tina Boe all had five kills each. Both games started close, but Osseo pulled away in both for a 25-11, 25-15 victory.
Against East Grand Forks the Orioles got out of the gates fast and won game one handily 25-13. In game two Osseo had to over come seven service errors to hold on to a 25-21 win. Megan Pekarek had 24 assists in the match and surpassed the 2,500 career assist mark.
On Saturday the Orioles faced off with the Otters from Fergus Falls (#6AA 21-4). Fergus Falls was led by NDSU recruit Brianna Rasmusson and UMD recruit Anna Monke. In a match full of big kills and amazing digs the Orioles won big points at the end of each game to win 25-22, 25-21 and advance to the championship match.
The final was a rematch of an early season match up against Roseville. In that encounter Osseo beat Roseville 3-0 on their home floor. In game one Osseo pulled ahead early behind the aggressive serving of Touria Techam. Roseville made a strong push to close the lead to three points, but Osseo held on to win 25-20. In game two Osseo continued their aggressive serving and held Roseville to runs of three or less to run away with game two 25-12. Jazlynn Tanielu had 21 digs and was 18/20 on serve receive against Roseville.
“It was nice to see the girls step up and compete hard today. They defeated two teams that have a chance to make it to the state tournament in convincing fashion.” Said Quan.
The Orioles, ranked fourth in the state, now set their sights on winning the program’s first state berth since 2008, when the Orioles upset top-seeded Blaine.
Section 5AA seedings: 1. Osseo, 2. Champlin Park, 3. Blaine, 4. Mounds View, 5. St. Michael-Albertville, 6. Totino Grace, 7. Centennial, 8. Maple Grove, 9. Rogers
10. Spring Lake Park, 11. Coon Rapids, 12. Irondale.